ACI Kit Arrived

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ACI Kit Arrived

Postby tranter » Sep Mon 24, 2012 1:08 pm

My Apple Cassette Interface kit arrived in the mail today. All parts are there and it looks good. I hope to start on the construction tonight.
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby tranter » Sep Wed 26, 2012 11:02 pm

It assembled with no problems and seems to be working but the error rate is high with the cassette recorder I have. I'll do some more experimenting but I may have to obtain a Panasonic RQ-2102 recorder. This recorder is reported to work reasonably well and was originally recommended by Apple.
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby vbriel » Sep Thu 27, 2012 12:29 am

I have one of those, I bought it used on ebay and it works great!
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby PaulB » Sep Thu 27, 2012 8:10 am

Hi Jeff and all ACI warriors,
If your ACI is saving to tape ok and the ACI is returning control to the A1 ok after saving, you can try playing the recording back and listening to the output through the speaker. You want to adjust playback volume to clearest "less distortion/static/motor hum etc" but quite loud sound, Then reconnect to ACI and try it at that level "also if it is a well used machine or not been used for a while ,clean the heads or, just clean them anyway". I have found mono cables/plugs get a better connection than stereo with these units which may not seem as obvious as it sounds.
Another thing to try is to note your tape recorders counter number when you hear the leader tone start to play, it is a constant beeeeep that goes for about 5-10 seconds at the start of the program recording, then dont hit enter to commence load until the leader has just started. You can also connect a small speaker in series with a double MONO 3.5mm adaptor to the ACI input to check your leads are working fine and listen in for excess hum etc. A cheap LED VU meter kit connected to the adaptor in place of the speaker will tell you when the program should have finished loading and can save time wasted waiting and wondering.

Being in the land down under, i probably wont receive Vinces ACI for a bit yet but have had success setting up another Apple 1 replica ACI to various machines with this method. I currently use a Sony Reel to Reel with good reliability and am looking forward to changing my current ACI card out with Vinces and see how it goes. I will let you know.

Eventually you will find a set up that works for you and reliability will improve dramatically.

Hope that this is helpfull.
All the best,
Paul 8)
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby tranter » Sep Thu 27, 2012 7:50 pm

I haven't got it to work reliably yet. As well as a tape recorder I've used a computer and an MP3 player to record and play back the sound files and they look very clean (I have an oscilloscope) but I get many errors. It seems to start writing data to memory during the time that it is reading the header - it writes mostly FFs with some different bytes. Later it saves data which is similar to the real data but with a lot of errors (I've been saving data with a known repeating pattern for test purposes: 0055AAFF...).

A couple thoughts:

The original Apple 1 ran at 1.024 MHz but with DRAM refresh ran with an effective speed on 0.960 MHz. The Replica 1 runs at 1 MHz. That difference might effect being able to read tapes recorded on a real Apple 1 or sound files on the Internet. I'm not sure, it is only off by 4%. I've ruled that out as my problem because I have been trying to read data that I wrote.

Resistors R1 through R4 were 1% tolerance in the original ACI and on Mike Willegal's ACI kit. They are 5% tolerance in this kit. That might make it less reliable. Vince, have you built a few units and found any variation in reliability?
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby Corey986 » Sep Fri 28, 2012 7:02 am

Jeff,

If I get a chance I will build mine today or Monday (World Maker Faire is this weekend, and my son didn't build the ACI last week like he promised). I was planing on using 1% resistors for the voltage divider just like the real Apple-1. If you want I can test by building with the 5% and create cassettes with my panasonic on the apple-1/Mimeo setup and try to load them directly on the replica-1 with the stock replica-1 ACI. Maybe it's the 5% or the CPU speed but we can figure it out by comparing and I can make minor changes until we get it reliable. We can also swap the ACIs back and forth between the hardware platforms.

Cheers,
Corey
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby inzgary » Sep Sat 29, 2012 10:09 pm

I assembled mine a couple weeks ago but had no luck. If I type C100R it echos the "*" just fine. Trying to get sound out of it before attempting any reads but get nothing at all. It just hangs and never returns control of the computer. Rechecked soldering, checked for shorts, and tried resoldering the jumper from -12V setting to Wallwart setting with no effect. I am using an ATX power source. If I play a tape full volume into the ACI the LED lights dimly. Any ideas?
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby tranter » Sep Sun 30, 2012 12:14 am

See if it is sending data out. Plug headphones into the TO TAPE jack.
After typing C100R <Enter> try writing some data by typing 300.3FFF<Enter>
You should hear 10 seconds of a solid header tone and then about 25 seconds of changing tone for the data.
It should then go back to the Woz Monitor.
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby PaulB » Sep Sun 30, 2012 9:24 am

O.K my ACI kit has arrived and i put it together today..

My R1 also uses ATX supply and i was not able to achieve even basic operation with the ATX connected, when i type C100r <enter> i was getting all sorts of strange things happening including keyboard miss types and errors.
I thought it was a soldering problem also, but after checking my work i removed the ATX and added a wall wart, only then did the ACI begin acting as it should.
Is there a problem with using ATX supply's??.
Anyway it is returning control to Monitor like it should but i am pretty much having same problems as Jeff. Errors errors errors...
I will keep tinkering and post if i get any improvements.

Paul. :oops:
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby inzgary » Sep Sun 30, 2012 6:54 pm

Thanks tranter still no output at all and does not return control to the monitor. Paul I should try a wall wart as well and see what I get.
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby tranter » Sep Sun 30, 2012 7:53 pm

Check that it is reading the EEPROM correctly. If you dump it in the Woz Monitor the data should match this:

C100.C1FF

C100: A9 AA 20 EF FF A9 8D 20
C108: EF FF A0 FF C8 AD 11 D0
C110: 10 FB AD 10 D0 99 00 02
C118: 20 EF FF C9 9B F0 E1 C9
C120: 8D D0 E9 A2 FF A9 00 85
C128: 24 85 25 85 26 85 27 E8
C130: BD 00 02 C9 D2 F0 56 C9
C138: D7 F0 35 C9 AE F0 27 C9
C140: 8D F0 20 C9 A0 F0 E8 49
C148: B0 C9 0A 90 06 69 88 C9
C150: FA 90 AD 0A 0A 0A 0A A0
C158: 04 0A 26 24 26 25 88 D0
C160: F8 F0 CC 4C 1A FF A5 24
C168: 85 26 A5 25 85 27 B0 BF
C170: A9 40 20 CC C1 88 A2 00
C178: A1 26 A2 10 0A 20 DB C1
C180: D0 FA 20 F1 C1 A0 1E 90
C188: EC A6 28 B0 98 20 BC C1
C190: A9 16 20 CC C1 20 BC C1
C198: A0 1F 20 BF C1 B0 F9 20
C1A0: BF C1 A0 3A A2 08 48 20
C1A8: BC C1 68 2A A0 39 CA D0
C1B0: F5 81 26 20 F1 C1 A0 35
C1B8: 90 EA B0 CD 20 BF C1 88
C1C0: AD 81 C0 C5 29 F0 F8 85
C1C8: 29 C0 80 60 86 28 A0 42
C1D0: 20 E0 C1 D0 F9 69 FE B0
C1D8: F5 A0 1E 20 E0 C1 A0 2C
C1E0: 88 D0 FD 90 05 A0 2F 88
C1E8: D0 FD BC 00 C0 A0 29 CA
C1F0: 60 A5 26 C5 24 A5 27 E5
C1F8: 25 E6 26 D0 02 E6 27 60
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby inzgary » Oct Mon 01, 2012 10:24 am

I found a discrepancy.
Yours reads C180: D0 FA 20 F1 C1 A0 1E 90
Mine reads C180: D0 FA 20 F1 C1 A4 1E 90
Other than that 4 the rest of the memory is correct.
Is there any way to get into the EEPROM and change it?
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby tranter » Oct Mon 01, 2012 11:06 am

If you have a 27C64 EPROM then you would need an EPROM programmer to change it. I suggest checking with Vince and seeing if he thinks the EPROM is bad and if he can send you a replacement.
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby vbriel » Oct Mon 01, 2012 1:49 pm

email me with your info, looks like a bad EPROM. Strange, my programmer has a verify mode
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Re: ACI Kit Arrived

Postby Corey986 » Oct Mon 01, 2012 2:24 pm

Well, here is my update on my ACI not working.... I did replace my Replica-1 EEPROM with the EPROM. My replica-1 is the lastest revision.

I am using a wall wart and tried it with an iPod classic (max, 90 and 80% volume), iPhone 4 (max, 90 and 80% volume) and with a Panasonic RQ2102 (At multiple volumes including known working ones on the Apple-1)

OK I tried the following tests with all Audio sources and volume levels...

I replaced the voltage divider resistors with 1% resistors like the original Apple ACI, no change

I swapped my 1977 AMI 6820 back to original and my 1976 white 6502 back to stock Replica-1.

I have a digital audio buffer built around an LM393 that I have hooked up to the audio out to cassette and it seems to have the right audio coming out...

The following combinations were tried...
I tried the ACI in the replica-1 set to ground, no monitor prompt after audio ends.
I tried the ACI in the Apple-1/Mimeo set to ground, better result in that I get a monitor prompt, but it's a bad load...
I tried the ACI in the Apple-1/Mimeo set to -12v, same as with ground, monitor prompt, but bad load...

I swapped all the logic chips in the ACI with Apple-1 ACI chips except for the ROMs which are different (who know maybe 1975/1976 chips make a difference, but this lot works) and I repeated the above, no luck.
I tried the ACI in the Replica-1 set to -12v, with -3.5 volts for the -12V created by a 555 timer based voltage inverter, no monitor prompt after audio ends.
I put .1uf filter caps on both EPROMS and repeated both replica-1 tests.... No change...

I verified my rom contents and they are fine...

I think out will come my scope later.... Have to move my Altair off my workbench first and put the cards back in... and quickly finish another project, So I may get to this today or tomorrow...

Cheers,
Corey
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